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May 25, 2020

Today businesses have become more unpredictable and dynamic, making dramatic changes to their form and nature. The latest alarm by COVID-19 pandemic, has marked an impact on all walks of life – social, economic, political, and health. Such disruptions are driven by changes which demand quality and efficiency of the organization to evolve with the changing times. Crowdsourcing is an emerging HR management strategy that aims to channelize innovative ideas and creativity by simply allowing them to be unveiled in front of multiple audience.

Thanks to the surfacing of world wide web and sudden outburst of social media platforms, the public has access to extensive amount of information which is allowing crowdsourcing to gain its popularity than ever before. Crowdsourcing enabled by digitization, powered particularly by cloud, automation, intelligence, mobility and analytics has provided an access to abundant talent.  NASA has been a part of many such successful crowdsourcing campaigns; one of the finest examples being the 7th Annual NASA Robotic Mining competition  where NASA crowdsourced inventive participants to design and build a Mining Robot that can travel over a simulated Martian surface.

This new prodigy has already been beneficial to a lot of organizations in the market by enabling the companies to indulge into the system of employing diverse individuals from across the globe to accomplish a goal.

Although HR leaders are at the absolute beginning of the expanded use of crowdsourcing, this availability has already helped them to address the skills shortage, by promoting re-skilling and up-skilling programs for employees through job rotation, job enhancement, and also by providing access to diverse skillsets of crowd that the core organization lacks. As the demand for niche and diverse skills grows across sectors, creating structural unemployment in economies worldwide, more and more organizations will tap into their ecosystems to augment their talent base.

The role of HR here becomes even more critical to keep these teams motivated to ensure sustainability in business because teams may not always be bound by traditional job roles, levels and hierarchies. Crowdsourcing is seen more often from an economic viewpoint even if it comes in many different formats that focus on maintaining a task-based and project-oriented way of doing business. It also exposes the issue to a wide audience who has varied skills, perspective and experience that are not a part of organizational boundaries. It brings more bright minds to find a solution to a given challenge.

Depending on the business goals, an organization could need to invite participants like customers, suppliers or freelance consultants which bring in a fresh perspective to deal with issues faced by the company with a completely different course of action.

 As organizations look for better solutions to their everyday problems, many are encouraging their employees to use their experiences to develop new ideas and play a more active role in the innovation process. Whether the issue involves improving hiring practices, deciding which new products or services to offer, or creating better forecasts, companies including AT&T Inc., Google Inc., and Deutsche Telekom AG have turned to what’s known as internal crowdsourcing.

We see that many large organizations or conglomerate have their pockets of knowledge and proficiency spread across the globe which will open abundant sources of innovation and solutions within the organization using collaborative digital enterprise. This internal utilization of manpower goes beyond R&D by involving the employees to extend their share of knowledge to the respective department and helping the organization not only with cost cutting but also minimizing flaws around.

Modern Talent Management Solutions have already invested in HR technologies to create a platform that supports ecosystem of Talent across the segments of business. These platforms will not only allow HR to fulfill the skill requirements in demand and get things completed in most effective ways but also provide an opportunity to the workforce to get trained and keep themselves relevant. Pioneers in HR fraternity believe that crowdsourcing can play a pivotal role in improving efficiencies and effectiveness of key levers of organizations such as governance, operations, culture, commercials, and innovations.

To sum up, the future seems to be bright for crowdsourcing in HR next practices with social media playing an important role to enable optimization of talents with opportunities to create higher value collectively.

Bipin Shrestha, currently heads the Pre-Sales and Solution for CHROMA™ – Platform Solutions Unit. He has led multiple HR transformation projects for various clients across industries. Bipin comes from the core HR fraternity having deeper perspective on processes across industries and geographies. He holds Executive Post Graduate Diploma in Organization Development & Change Management from TATA Institute of Social Science and a master’s degree in Industrial Relation & Human Resource Management.


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